11 people, including 6 Russian private military contractors, died as a result of explosion in a former building of Syrian police in the province of Deir Ezzor on November 4, the Russian media outlet Novayagazeta reported on November 5 citing “own source”. According to the report, the five other persons killed in the incident are members of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).
Novayagazeta also stated “citing own source” that units of the SAA’s 5th Assault Corps are deplyoed in the same place but failed to provide an exact location or further details of the incident.
The speculations released by Novayagazeta are the continuation of the story started last weekend when a number of Syrian pro-miltiant media outlets claimed that the blast hit a “HQ” of the Russian military near the Panorama checkpoint southwest of Deir Ezzor city killing at least 5 Russian fighters. The aforementioned “HQ” was reportedly located near barracks of the 5th Assault Corps, units of which are deployed there.
It’s interesting to note that Novayagazeta argued that the incident took place on November 4. This is the date when reports about the alleged explosion surfaced, but not the date when the alleged incident took place according to initial version. So, most likely, Novayagazeta just repeated these rumors claiming that it has some “source” in an attempt to make the report more “solid”.
In both cases, the main argument designed to confirm “Russian casualties” were that the 5th Assault Corps is well known to be a Russian-backed formation. it’s worth to note that pro-governemnt sources say that there was not blast near any “HQ” and that the SAA just detonated IEDs, which had been earlier removed from the liberated areas.
In any case, the developing story is another example how rumors are being spreaded by media, which refer various “anonymous informed sources” to make them more reliable.
Another story of this kind started in February 2018 and involved “hundreeds” of Russian casualties, which have appeared to be never confirmed.